If an anxiety attack and an existential crisis had a baby, its screams might sound something like The Lumes.

Two years since the release of The Lumes’ EP, Lust, we are greeted with an album which takes on the form of another one of the seven deadly sins: Envy. While Envy shares the same frustrated ethos as its predecessor, it is noticeably more articulate in communicating these frustrations.  This is their first release on Berlin-based independent label, Crazysane Records. 

This three-piece noise-rock formation from Rotterdam drips and oozes with societal unease. The first track, Anguish, opens with their characteristic sound: a fast-paced and animalistic rhythm section, artfully chaotic guitar riffs with a double dose of distortion and nervous lyrics. The track alternates between valleys of moody paranoia-fueled musings and peaks of noisy emotional outbursts until we find ourselves in the middle of a mental breakdown. 

“Are you making fun of me?”

At the risk of sounding reductive, this distinctive recipe can be said to hold true for much of the album. The lows and highs both keep listeners attentive and leaves them slightly shell-shocked. Mitchell’s drumming is ever-present and remarkably tight to match Lennard’s steady, driving bass. Maxime is still feeling helpless, but the dreamy, almost uplifting guitar solo at the end of ‘Slow’ suggests a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. 

“A frown is a smile turned upside-down.”

While it isn’t exactly a record for a breezy sunny afternoon (I started in the park and ended in a dark bedroom lit by candles), this album strikes an important chord. It begs a question that we’ve all asked ourselves, either at a crowded party to or lying awake at night staring at the ceiling: What the hell does this thing called ‘society’ want from me? And perhaps: Why should I give it to them?

Join us on November 4th at Internet Explorer to catch The Lumes in the flesh.


 

Christopher Lewis has roots in the woodsy, cornfield-filled, and conservative Indiana. In Groningen, the Netherlands, he fell in love and started a bookings and management business, COK Bookings, with his now wife, Annalie. He’s rather fond of psychedelic rock and fried chicken.